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This article is about the map in Age of Empires, Age of Empires II, and Age of Mythology: The Titans. For the map in Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition - The African Royals, see Highlands.

Highland is a random map found in Age of Empires, Age of Empires II, and Age of Mythology: The Titans.

Age of Empires[]


Highland selection in Return of Rome

With moderately sparse forests, hilly lands and abundance of wildlife, this map brings out the best of the classic battles on land.
Return of Rome description

Highland is one of just two landlocked maps in Age of Empires, the other being Hill Country, which was later introduced in Rise of Rome.

What makes this map different from Hill Country is Hill Country is certainly a landlocked map while Highland may or may not contain river crossings. It is technically like Hill Country with a river. If Highland did not contain a river, it would be almost exactly like Hill Country. Any other player with fewer choke points should rush instead, similarly to Arabia.

The rivers that occasionally appear on Highland can sometimes be connected to fairly large lakes and seas. Computer players will never build Docks, however.

In the Return of Rome version, it is a fully land based map without streams or other type of water. Is the standard map akin to Arabia in Age of Empires II.

Age of Empires II[]


Highland selection

Far from the ocean and heavily forested but with plenty of rivers and open space for maneuvers.
—Map description


Highland features a cliffed, highly forested land, with one or more rivers traversing the region dividing players or teams. While the map usually features multiple rivers when many players have joined a game, it's not unheard to have 4-player games, but a single river.

Either way, fish live in the rivers (the species present are Salmon). Also, these same rivers feature multiple shallows, from where land units may access the other players' parts of the map. Occasionally, two portions of the map, normally divided by rivers, may be slightly connected by land.

Start-up food resources are standard (8 Sheep or 6 Cows, 6 Berry Bushes; huntables: 2 aggressive and 3-4 passives) and so are the stone and gold mines. Additionally to the initial herdables, players may also find some others scattered around the map, usually in pairs. Wild beasts are present in low numbers and scattered on the map. Relics present are standard.

It has the in-game map tag "Mixed".

Viable tactics[]

While a Turtle strategy focusing on defending the shallows may seem as a good idea, as the rivers serve as a natural barrier for the land troops, it is usually not recommended to wall these, as players may pragmatically choose to build Docks and embark armies with Transport Ships instead. However, placing buildings near the shore just in order to get sight of the coastline works fine to notice an early landing. To defend the shallows from incoming land troops, it is usually better to just place towers or a Castle near it, and patrol those areas frequently.

Rushing tactics work fine on this map, but most of the time, those may require as mentioned previously, to create Transport Ships, and start the attack from areas the opponent doesn't have enough vigilance.

Turtling tactics can also prove to be useful, thanks to the forests there, but in this case the player must think the defense in concentric circles, protecting the inland by connecting the forests with walls and the riverlands with an army, Castles and towers trying not to leave any blind spots near the shores, especially at the shallows. Following a turtle with an economic boom is very viable and it will require the use of Fishing Ships for better results.

Despite the fact the map is mostly land, using the navy has surprisingly good results in both defense and offense.

Usually in the middle to late game the shallows become hot spots for battles, so players that have access to units that deal splash damage, a special ability like ranged melee damage or trample damage (units like Onagers, War and Battle Elephants, Cataphracts, Demolition Ships etc.) should use them largely to get an advantage as the units there tend to clutter.

Civilizations that have advantages in Highland:

Age of Mythology: The Titans[]


Highland icon in the random map menu, showing a map with four players

Grassy hills separated by rivers with defensive narrow crossings.
—Map description

In Age of Mythology, Highland has a similar layout to the Erebus random map, but with more abundant resources on grass terrain. Instead of lava, players are separated by pools of water that may contain fish. Players must maintain control of these ponds to keep enemies from entering their territory and to have a constant supply of food. This can be accomplished by either walling off the narrow passages between ponds and/or building a powerful navy to fend off enemy troops. Building defensive structures will also play an important part on this map as their arrows will do heavy damage to enemy ships as well as any other unit. If there are more than two players present, the central pond becomes larger and it may support a small island at its center with additional resources.

Major gods that have the upper hand on this map will include those who benefit from the abundance of animals such as Set and Odin, as well as defensive Gods such as Hades, Isis, and Shennong. Gaia players can use the Gaia Forest god power to seal off the passes with a near impenetrable wall of trees, forcing enemies to either take a longer route around or send their worker units dangerously close to enemy territory in order to cut it down.


As a Norse map, Cows are the herdable found throughout the map. There are also Deer, Crowned Cranes, and Aurochs for worker units to hunt, but they must careful not to cross paths with Bears. Very rarely, Water Buffaloes might also be included.

In cases where fish are present, these are Salmon. Forests included are composed of oaks and pines.

Similar maps[]


  • This is the second non-African map with Crowned Cranes, the other two being Marsh and Old Atlantis.


Random maps
Age of Empires
ReturnRome-AoEIcon Age of Empires Coastal · Highland · Inland · Large Islands · Small Islands
RomeIcon The Rise of Rome Continental · Hill Country · Mediterranean · Narrows
Age of Empires Definitive Edition icon Definitive Edition Oasis · Rivers
AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome Alliance · Citadel · Clearing · Dark Forest · Desert Ridge · Gold Mountain · Inside Out · Land Nomad · MegaRandom · Muddy Waters · Nomad · Ocean Channel · Ocean Ring · Plateaus · River Crossing · Sahara · Twin Settlements
For maps used in high-level tournaments, see liquipedia.
Age of Empires II
AoE2-DLCicon-0 The Age of Kings Random Arabia · Archipelago · Baltic · Black Forest · Crater Lake · Continental · Coastal · Fortress · Gold Rush · Highland · Islands · Mediterranean · Migration · Rivers · Team Islands
AoE2-DLCicon-1 The Conquerors Random Arena · Ghost Lake · Mongolia · Nomad · Oasis · Salt Marsh · Scandinavia · Yucatán
Real World Britain · Byzantium · Central America · France · Iberia · Italy · Mideast · Norse Lands · Sea of Japan (East Sea) · Texas
Custom Canals · Capricious · Dingos · Graveyards · Metropolis · Moats · Paradise Island · Pilgrims · Prairie · Seasons · Sherwood Forest · Sherwood Heroes · Shipwreck · Team Glaciers · The Unknown
AoE2-DLCicon-2 The Forgotten Random Acropolis · Budapest · Cenotes · City of Lakes · Golden Pit · Hideout · Hill Fort · Lombardia · Steppe · Valley · MegaRandom · Hamburger
Capture the Relic CtR Monsoon · CtR Pyramid Descent · CtR Random · CtR Spiral
AoE2-DLCicon-3 The African Kingdoms Random Kilimanjaro · Mountain Pass · Nile Delta · Serengeti · Socotra
Real World Amazon · Bohemia · China · Earth · Horn of Africa · India · Madagascar · West Africa
Special Canyons · Enemy Archipelago · Enemy Islands · Far Out · Front Line · Inner Circle · Motherland · Open Plains · Ring of Water · Snakepit · The Eye
AoE2-DLCicon-4 Rise of the Rajas Random Bog Islands · Mangrove Jungle · Pacific Islands · Sandbank · Water Nomad
Real World Australia · Indochina · Indonesia · Philippines · Strait of Malacca
Special Border Stones · Holy Line · Jungle Islands · Jungle Lanes · Yin Yang
AoE2-DLCicon-5 The Last Khans Random Alpine Lakes · Bogland · Four Lakes · Golden Swamp · Land Nomad · Mountain Ridge · Ravines · Wolf Hill
Real World Antarctica · Aral Sea · Black Sea · Caucasus · Siberia
Special Journey South · Snake Forest · Sprawling Streams · Swirling River · Twin Forests
Battle Royale BR Battle On Ice · BR El Dorado · BR Fall of Axum · BR Fall of Rome · BR Majapahit Empire
AoE2Icon-LordsWest Lords of the West Random Acclivity · African Clearing · Amazon Tunnel · Atacama · Coastal Forest · Crater · Crossroads · Eruption · Frigid Lake · Greenland · Lowland · Marketplace · Meadow · Michi · Mountain Range · Northern Isles · Ring Fortress · Runestones · Seize The Mountain · Team Moats · Volcanic Island
Dawn of the Dukes icon Dawn of the Dukes Random Aftermath · Enclosed · Haboob · Kawasan · Land Madness · Sacred Springs · Wade
AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of India Random Morass · Shoals
Aoe2 hb Victors and Vanquished Random Cliffbound · Dunesprings · Golden Stream · Hollow Woodlands · Isthmus · Karsts · Mountain Dunes · River Divide · Sandrift · Shrubland · The Passage
For maps used in high-level tournaments, see liquipedia.
Age of Mythology
Aom original icon Age of Mythology Acropolis · Alfheim · Anatolia · Archipelago · Black Sea · Erebus · Ghost Lake · Jotunheim · King of the Hill · Mediterranean · Midgard · Nomad · Oasis · River Nile · River Styx · Savannah · Sea of Worms · Sudden Death · Team Migration · The Unknown · Valley of Kings · Vinlandsaga · Watering Hole
AoM The Titans icon The Titans Highland · Islands · Land Unknown · Marsh · Megalopolis · Tundra
AoM Extended icon Tale of the Dragon Basin · Blue Lagoon · Deep Jungle · Old Atlantis · Open Fields · Regicide · Silk Road · Yellow River
Cut Forgotten City · Golden Fleece
For maps used in high-level tournaments, see liquipedia.
Age of Empires III
3Icon48px Age of Empires III Amazonia · Bayou · Caribbean · Carolina · Great Lakes · Great Plains · Hispaniola · New England · Pampas · Patagonia · Rockies · Saguenay · Sonora · Texas · Unknown · Yucatán · Yukon
3WCIcon48px The WarChiefs Andes · Araucania · California · Northwest Territory · Orinoco · Ozarks · Painted Desert · Plymouth
3ADIcon48px The Asian Dynasties Borneo · Ceylon · Deccan · Himalayas · Himalayas - Upper · Honshu · Honshu - Regicide OR Regicide - Honshu · Indochina · Mongolia · Siberia · Silk Road · Yellow River
Age3DE Icon Definitive Edition Alaska · Andes - Upper · Arctic Territories · Bahia · Baja California · Bengal · Cascade Range · Central Asia · Central Plain · Colorado · Dakota · Fertile Crescent · Florida · Gran Chaco · Guianas · Hokkaido · Indonesia · Kamchatka · Korea · Malaysia · Manchuria · Mexico · Minas Gerais · Pampas Sierras · Panama · Parallel Rivers · Punjab · Texas Frontier · Yamal
Age3DE Icon The African Royals Arabia · Atlas · Congo Basin · Darfur · Dunes · Dunes - The Eye · Gold Coast · Great Rift · Highlands · Horn · Ivory Coast · Lake Chad · Lake Victoria · Niger Delta · Niger River · Nile Valley · Pepper Coast · Saharan Routes · Saharan Routes - LOST · Sahel · Savanna · Siwa Oasis · Sudd · Swahili Coast · Tassili · Tripolitania
Age3DE Icon Knights of the Mediterranean Acropolis · Alps · Anatolia · Archipelago · Balkan Mountains · Baltic Sea · Black Forest · Black Forest - Arena · Black Forest - Forest Nothing · Bohemia · Budapest · Carpathians · Caucasus · Corsica and Sardinia · Courland · Danish Straits · Dnieper Basin · England · Eurasian Steppe · Eurasian Steppe - LOST · Eurasian Steppe - Survival · Finland · France · Hungarian Plains · Ireland · Italy · Karelian Lakes · Lithuania · Low Countries · Mediterranean · Muscovy · Pomerania · Portugal · Pripet Marshes · Pyrenees · Rhine · Saxony · Scandinavia · Scotland · Spain · Vistula Basin · Wales · Wallachia
For maps used in high-level tournaments, see liquipedia.
GameIcon-AoE4 Age of Empires IV
Launch Altai · Ancient Spires · Archipelago · Black Forest · Boulder Bay · Confluence · Danube River · Dry Arabia · French Pass · High View · Hill and Dale · King of the Hill · Lipany · Mongolian Heights · Mountain Pass · Nagari · Warring Islands
Season One MegaRandom
Season Two The Pit
Season Three Baltic (Mediterranean) · Forest Ponds · Hideout · Mountain Clearing · Oasis · Prairie · Waterholes · Wetlands
Season Four Continental · Four Lakes · Marshland
Season Five Golden Heights · Migration · Volcanic Island
Season Six Canal · Gorge · Rocky River
The Sultans Ascend African Waters · Cliffside · Forts · Glade · Golden Pit · Haywire · Hidden Valley · Himeyama · Thickets · Turtle Ridge
Season Seven Land MegaRandom
Season Eight Socotra
Expansion maps are not available without buying the expansion. Maps are sorted according to their expansion (must be bought) and launch seasons.
For maps used in high-level tournaments, see liquipedia.